Two big movies are hitting theaters tomorrow. One a sure-fire family hit, the other a big budget western blockbuster. How well will they do?

“Monsters University” may have taken the top spot the past two weekends, but this is the first summer in a long while that another studio is going to smash them for the top spot in terms of animated films. Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” sees Steve Carell return to voice Gru and the minions are back in full force. The first film earned more than $250 million. And with no major animated films coming out (sorry “Turbo) this is going to at least exceed that by a little bit. Expect a monstrous first week.

Opening week: $110-120 million.

Armie Hamer and Johnny Depp star in “The Lone Ranger”, the big budget film that reunites Depp with “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski. Disney’s playing up that angle a lot, but it has a lot going against it. First, the last Western film to open over the July 4 holiday? “Wild Wild West”. And while “True Grit” was very successful, earning $171 million domestically, that was an Oscar contender and had Jeff Bridges. The last summer Western films have been utter failures with “Cowboys and Aliens” and “Jonah Hex”. With a lot of competition for the young male crowd, this film won’t reach the heights Disney was hoping. In fact, it likely won’t earn as much as”True Grit” after it’s all said and done.

Opening week: $70-80 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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